Contra Costa Holds Off on Solar Regs
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors agreed in late December to hold off on adopting a mandatory local rooftop solar ordinance for new residential development after learning that the California Energy Commission (CEC) is proceeding with a nearly identical regulation. With substantial help from CBIA, BIA Bay Area informed the supervisors of the state’s work after learning about the proposed local regulation. County Supervisor John Gioia, who sits on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, was pushing the county to impose local regs based on BAAQMD’s model local residential rooftop solar ordinance. But the CEC is already on track to adopt statewide changes in the building code that will require all new residential developments to provide rooftop solar power systems starting Jan. 1, 2020. Given the close timeframe, BIA|Bay Area East Bay Executive Director for Governmental Affairs Lisa Vorderbrueggen asked the Board of Supervisors to wait and see what the state regulations actually say before adopting potentially conflicting local rules. The law requires local governments to conform with the state building code or follow a lengthy, public process under which they seek permission or certification to exceed the state regulations. County staff also confirmed that it had zero residential development applications in the development pipeline expected to pull permits in the 12 to 18 month period that might have been subject to a local ordinance had one been adopted prior to Jan. 1, 2020. Had BIA|Bay Area not intervened, the county may have spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours crafting and adopting an ordinance for which no air quality or other benefits would have been attained. Click HERE to view the agenda and staff report. For questions or comments, contact BIA’s Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-348-1956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.